Credit:

The first three weeks of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague came to an end, and it’s time to see the updated Power Rankings.

BasketNews present its third Power Ranking edition, in which our expert panel had a say. The positions of the teams are based on their current form and the potential they got in the foreseeable future.

The opening day edition of our Power Rankings can be found here.

For starters, we have ten teams going down, seven climbing up, and only one remaining at their previous spot. 

The biggest jump was made by LDLC ASVEL Villeurbane. A very impressive start of the season allowed ASVEL to climb 7 positions up and place themselves in the Top 10.

All in all, the latest edition of the EuroLeague Power Rankings has both the new top-ranked team and a new bottom dweller. 

18. Zalgiris Kaunas ⬇ (15)

Current record: 0-4

Zalgiris Kaunas are one of the three teams remaining without a win. So far, the coaching change didn’t help as well, as Jure Zdovc lost both games during the double week against Crvena Zvezda and Olympiacos.

Moreover, Lithuanian champions are suffering from Paulius Jankunas, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Janis Strelnieks' injuries. Fortunately, Emmanuel Mudiay avoided a serious injury, so that’s basically the only positive at Zalgiris’ camp.

17. ALBA Berlin (18)

Current record: 1-3

The German club already made one surprise, comfortably beating Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul (84-70).

As the head coach Israel Gonzalez stressed after the first game against Barcelona, ALBA should be happy with every positive in their game. Oscar Da Silva is definitely one of those positives.

So far, the 23-years-old forward averages 17 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 21 PIR.

In the upcoming four games, ALBA will face struggling Bayern Munich and Zalgiris, so these games will be the best chance to snatch a win for the Berlin club.

16. UNICS Kazan ⬇ (13)

Current record: 1-3

After assembling a solid team on paper, UNICS are yet to transfer that chemistry on the court.

Their first and only win so far came after an impressive second half performance against Bayern. However, spectacular victory was changed to an embarrassing defeat against Fenerbahce (41-80).

41 points in a game are the fourth-lowest tally in EuroLeague’s history. Krka Novo Mesto had 35 in 2003, Brose Bamberg – 37 in 2008, Cibona Zagreb (2009) and London Towers (2001) – both 40, Arka Gdynia (2011), Siena Montepaschi (2011), and now UNICS – 41.

Next up, UNICS will face Anadolu Efes, Baskoonia, Real Madrid, and in-form ASVEL, so Mario Hezonja and the company will need to step up if they want to add extra victories under their belt.

15. Panathinaikos OPAP Athens ⬇ (14)

Current record: 1-3

Shaky start at the beginning of the season, and only one victory in four games puts Panathinaikos one place below than they were before the beginning of the season.

Ioannis Papapetrou and Daryl Macon are the only Panathinaikos players who average double-digit numbers in both points and PIR.

Nemanja Nedovic still doesn’t look like himself and despite 7 points average, his PIR mark is only 3.8 per game.

However, Yogi Ferrell joined the Athens club and let everyone know that his main goal is the EuroLeague title. So, who knows, maybe Ferrell is the answer?

14. FC Bayern Munich ⬇ (11)

Current record: 0-4

Despite showing character and erasing double-digit deficit on multiple occasions, last season’s Cinderella is yet to achieve its first victory.

Bayern lost to Maccabi (68-69), Barcelona (72-80), UNICS (70-73), and Zenit (71-79). Despite a slow start, Andrea Trinchieri still believes that his team will show its true face soon.

“We played a man’s game. We manned up, we bounced back. And we won’t give up. We will wait for the players we are missing to come back, and I’m sure we’re gonna get better because we played like a team,” Trinchieri said after the game in St. Petersburg.

Bavarians will have a good chance to bounce back on Thursday when they’ll be visiting Zalgiris Kaunas. And according to our own Jonas Leksas, we should see Bayern's comeback sooner than later.

13. Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz ⬇ (8)

Current record: 2-2

Another team which went down since the opening day of our Power Rankings. Just before the season, Baskonia made TOP8, but now our experts are less convinced than a couple of weeks ago.

Baskonia’s sluggish start began in Piraeus, where the Spanish club suffered a 50-75 defeat against Olympiacos. This loss was followed by a defeat against Armani Exchange (78-64).

However, Baskonia managed to bounce back during the double week, when Dusko Ivanovic’s team racked both wins against Panathinaikos (81-79) and ALBA (80-76). 

Maybe, as Ivanovic mentioned after Panathinaikos' game, that’s the beginning of the road to the Final Four?

“It’s the first victory on our path towards the top eight and the Final Four. It was tough, but in general, we played well, but there were some parts of the game we should have managed differently. We could have lost the game through the very bad defense,” Ivanovic said back then.

12. Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv ⬇ (10)

Current record: 2-2

Despite tough defeats against Crvena Zvezda (63-75) and Armani Exchange (72-83), Maccabi managed to cool off flaming hot ASVEL in their last game, winning it 93-85.

Ante Zizic is already close to returning to action, while we also shouldn’t forget that Maccabi’s pre-season was crippled by a coronavirus. So, nothing’s lost for Maccabi yet, especially at this stage of the season.

11. Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (16)

Current record: 2-2

After being ranked in 16th place before the beginning of the season, Crvena Zvezda looks like one of the dark horses.

The Serbian team can boast of having the best defense in the whole tournament, allowing only 65.8 points per game.

Zvezda already beat Zalgiris (73-61) and Maccabi (75-63) while also putting up a very good fight against such EuroLeague powerhouses like Fenerbahce (57-61) and CSKA (76-78).

Nate Wolters and Nikola Kalinic are leading Zvezda. Moreover, Aaron White is yet to play due to an elbow injury he suffered during pre-season.

10. LDLC ASVEL Villeurbane (17)

Current record: 3-1

After four rounds, ASVEL are sitting in fifth place in the standings. Who could have thought that before the season began?

The French club stormed the EuroLeague with three victories, including one against the current champions Anadolu Efes (75-73). Furthermore, at one point, ASVEL were trailing by 19 points.

T.J. Parker’s side also defeated Zalgiris (88-76) and ALBA (71-67) but finally was stopped by Maccabi (85-93). So, what’s the secret? According to Parker, it’s the spirit.

"After minus 19, what is it? It's heart," ASVEL's coach said after the game against Efes. "The team showed a lot of heart. We got a stop after stop, after stop. We got some key buckets down the line, and congratulations to the guys.”

9. Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul ⬇ (6)

Current record: 2-2

Before the beginning of the season, Fenerbahce were the sixth team in our Power Rankings. However, now, the Turkish powerhouse is outside the Top 8.

Despite the victory against Zvezda (61-57), Fenerbahce suffered two unexpected defeats against Panathinaikos and ALBA. Despite that, Fenerbahce finished the double week with a statement victory against UNICS (80-41).

They also crushed Anadolu Efes in the Turkish league game on Monday, so maybe Fenerbahce are on the way to founding their groove. It’s also worth mentioning that Pierria Henry is yet to find his form, so Fenerbahce got some reserves left as well.

8. AS Monaco (12)

Current record: 2-2

We begin the Top 8 with EuroLeague debutants Monaco. Both Monaco losses came against Spanish powerhouses – Real and Barca – and in both cases, Monaco put up a solid fight.

Mike James already looks like the best version of himself, dishing the flashy passes and making shots from halfcourt, while Donta Hall and Will Thomas also chip in with solid contributions.

Starting Thursday, Monaco will face Baskonia, Crvena Zvezda, and injury-riddled CSKA. If Monaco manage to win all of those games, they’ll make an even stronger statement for the rest of EuroLeague.

7. Anadolu Efes Istanbul ⬇ (2)

Current record: 0-4

The defending champions are yet to secure their first victory, and some might joke that they are still in the pre-season phase.

However, looking at the roster Efes have, it’s a bit early to push a panic button. Furthermore, the Turkish club strengthened its roster with freshly baked NBA champion Elijah Bryant.

The results aren’t great, but Ergin Ataman, Vasilije Micic, Shane Larkin, and the rest will probably figure it out.

6. Zenit St. Petersburg (7)

Current record: 3-1

Even without Shabazz Napier and not playing their best basketball, Zenit still grind hard-fought victories. The Russian club beat UNICS (70-69), Zalgiris (70-64), and Bayern (79-71). 

The only defeat came in Moscow, where Tornike Shengelia put on a show, accumulating 33 points and 37 PIR in CSKA’s win 77-67.

However, the upcoming five Zenit games will be a real challenge. The Russian club will face Barcelona, Real, Baskonia, Anadolu Efes, and Olympiacos, so it will be interesting to see how Zenit will cope.

5. Olympiacos Piraeus (9)

Current record: 3-1

Olympiacos became another welcome surprise. The Greek club comfortably beat Baskonia (75-50), Real (74-68), and Zalgiris (83-68).

The only defeat came against Barcelona in an overtime drama, so there’s absolutely no shame in that.

So far, Georgios Bartzokas built the second-best defense in EuroLeague (OLY allow 66.3 points on average), and the offense is being carried by Sasha Vezenkov, Kostas Sloukas, and Tyler Dorsey trio.

As we did the other day, there are many reasons to ask if Olympiacos are back in European basketball elite? Barcelona's head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, for example, thinks they did.

4. Real Madrid  (4)

Current record: 3-1

Real are the only team who remained in the same position as they were in the last edition of Power Rankings. And at the moment, there’s no shame in being fourth.

Real’s defeat against Olympiakos remains the only one in the season, so it looks like the Spanish powerhouse is on the right way straight away.

So far, Thomas Heurtel is proving that his spell at Barcelona was just a misunderstanding, while Guerschon Yabusele is also putting the numbers of his life.

And of course, there is a beast in Walter Tavares, who averages 23.3 PIR per game, which is good enough for the second spot in the whole EuroLeague. 

At the end of the day, as Laso said, no one has to be brilliant.

"This is one of those days when the coach feels very happy. It was not brilliant, but everyone worked steadily and decided the game early," Laso said after the victory against Panathinaikos.

3. CSKA Moscow ⬇ (1)

Current record: 3-1

After suffering defeat in Milan (84-74), CSKA bounced back with three wins on the trot beating Anadolu Efes (100-96), Zenit (77-67), and Crvena Zvezda (78-76).

From the beginning of the season, Dimitris Itoudis must maneuver with his squad since both Nikola Milutinov and Marius Grigonis are recovering from injuries. Moreover, the most efficient player in the EuroLeague, Tornike Shengelia, will also be out for at least two months.

However, Johannes Voigtmann (11.3 PPG, 16.5 PIR), Will Clyburn (16 PPG, 15 PIR), and Iffe Lundberg (10.3 PPG, 12.8 PIR) are having strong seasons, so we can expect that the load on their shoulders will be even bigger. 

Furthermore, CSKA strengthened their frontcourt with Kenneth Faried, who already made his debut in the VTB United League.

The upcoming schedule won’t be easy, though. CSKA will face Olympiacos, ASVEL, and Monaco – all three teams which started the season on the rise as well.

2. AX Armani Exchange Milan (5)

Current record: 4-0

Armani Exchange remain one of the two teams with a perfect record. Moreover, the majority of the games were won in a comfortable fashion, with the exception of Anadolu Efes, which was beaten in a nail-biting game (75-71).

Ettore Messina also revealed that Troy Daniels, who spent all his career in the NBA, should be back soon after suffering a hamstring injury. So, it will be an even bigger boost for the Italian club.

1. FC Barcelona (3)

Current record: 4-0

Just like Armani Exchange, Barcelona are yet to lose. However, it’s worth mentioning that the last two victories against Olympiacos (79-78) and Monaco (85-81) came after overtime.

It's also interesting that currently, Barcelona are the best-attacking team in the EuroLeague, averaging 85 points per game. Sarunas Jasikevicius should also be happy with the ball movement in the offense, as Barca are averaging 20.3 assists per game (2nd place).

So far, Nikola Mirotic is showing brilliant form, averaging 17.3 points, 5 rebounds, and 21.3 PIR per game. Nick Calathes is shooting 47% from three (7 out of 15), while Brandon Davies dominates the paint (15 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 14.5 PIR).

Furthermore, Sertac Sanli is still recovering from injury, so Barcelona still have some reserves left.

Show comments
Thank you for reporting a comment

Add comment

We have the right to remove comments which are offensive, contains abusive language, or violates other rules of the website